Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently you’ll have noticed that Google have recently rolled out a mobile friendly algorithm update, giving websites which have a mobile friendly user experience a ranking boost in the search results.
Dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon‘ by Search engine land, the meteor supposedly about to crash into the SEO community has yet to make any sizeable dent in the results. The sky has yet to fall, and Chicken Licken has safely took his search traffic back to the coop, even if he did run around headless for a while.
The majority of businesses online have already got their ducks in a row, and those typically on page 1 recognised years ago the silent majority of mobile visitors that already visit their website needed a mobile experience. Those that hadn’t, well frankly deserve to flounder in the results as they are neither innovating or investing in the end user experience.
What the majority haven’t recognised however, is Google’s continued focus within their webmaster documentation including all of the tools to check and learn about web page speed.
Just like they did prior to the mobile algorithm update, releasing dedicated sections of Google Developer pages, white papers , blog posts, videos and mobile friendly tools for webmasters advising on best practice and approach, a bucketload of resources and advice for you to sit up and take notice is currently being created and curated on page speed.
The prosecution would like to present exhibit a, b, c and d.
You can see where I’m going with this, and it doesn’t take Matt Cutts video to spell out where Google are continuing to go with it either.
Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, shed some more light on the forthcoming Google update during a Q&A session at Brighton SEO – over at iCrossing, we see this:
- Pagespeed won’t be a ranking factor for the first release of the mobile-friendly update.
Which means that a hinted page speed update is potentially gonna whack some sites in phase two..
It makes sense for the next major update Google are working on to be ‘further enhance the importance of page speed in the algorithm‘.
Firstly if mobile friendly sites are the norm, then so too are poor connection speeds.
Google and Facebook are both working to bring the web to even more remote and impoverished locations, so the ideal web isn’t going to be squeezing content watermelons through an internet needle of 3G or worse.
1995 called, and wants it’s preloading splash screen back folks. We’ve got drunk on the luxury of bandwidth in our page implementations.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly, From a pure business perspective if Google can manage to bully the web into going mobile by opening their trench coat and showing a little algorithmic flesh, then it becomes easy for them to make it faster by doing the same again. Approx 4.7% of sites changed / bowed to the pressure.
A much faster web means less bandwidth for them to consume in a crawl, resulting in a significant financial saving. A couple of percent faster and we all line those trench coat pockets with shiny gold coins, and of course not to mention the environmental benefits. Think of the penguins folks.
You can bet your bottom dollar that the same arguments will be spun out of the Googleplex PR department in the not too distant future.
That said, I do think that the introduction of speed will shake up the results for the better. The slow and sluggish sites older sites which have used their page rank weight to sit at the top of the results without focusing on technology will begin to die.
Frankly that’s how it should be.